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Proviso West Auto Tech Program Grows

March 21, 2014 02:35 PM
Teachers at Proviso Township High Schools District 209 are always looking for ways to motivate their students to think ahead to what they will be doing after they graduate from high school.

On March 12, students in Mr. Carl Fedele’s auto tech class at Proviso West High School learned about one of their options, with a visit from representatives from Lincoln College of Technology (Lincoln Tech), a vocational technical school based in Melrose Park.

The visit was one of the latest lessons that approximately 60 auto tech students have been receiving at Proviso West this year. Mr. Fedele, who is master certified by the National Institute for Auto Service Excellence (ASE), said that he restarted the class three years ago, seven years after a similar program at Proviso East High School was reborn. The program at Proviso West has grown from its beginnings in the school’s maintenance garage to a class where students can learn everything about repairing vehicles ranging from balancing and rotating tires to repairing engines. This is all completed with tools from new tool boxes and four shop cars that the students work on. Students also are required to write one research paper every quarter for the class.

W-AutoTech2-380"The students talk about it because it’s a real class," said Mr. Fedele, who splits his time between Proviso West, Proviso East, and Triton College. "They do everything my college students do."

On March 12, Mr. Bob Malloy, an automotive instructor at Lincoln Tech, spoke to Proviso West auto tech students about their options after high school. He also showed them a Toyota Celica and Chevy pickup truck that had been rebuilt and repainted by Lincoln Tech students.

"You’ve got choices," he said to the students in a presentation that was repeated at Proviso East on March 13. "Technology in cars is rampant. If you get out in front of that, you’ll be doing well."

W-AutoTech3-380Mr. Fedele said that regular visits from vocational schools such as Lincoln Tech, WyoTech, and Universal Technical Institute (UTI) show students what school can be like after they graduate from high school. He said that the training that the Proviso students can get in their high school auto tech classes and the training afterward can lead to high-paying careers.

"This is everything they do to get a job right now," he said.

Mr. Oscar Hawthorne, principal at Proviso West, said that providing opportunities for students to learn what options are available to them such as the career and technical education programs are beneficial for students who are trying to determine what they will do after graduating from high school.

"Students need to know what options are out there to consider," he said. "With our emphasis on college and career readiness, knowing what is available, whether it is college, trade school, or the workforce, will help students determine what they can do in their lives."


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